# Simple Past Or Past Continuous?

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Hello,

Which is better: "My parents decided to rent a house on Martha's vineyard and we (all look forward) were all looking forward to three weeks of fun in the sun." OR "My parents decided to rent a house on Martha's vineyard and we (all look forward) all looked forward to three weeks of fun in the sun."

Which one do you recommend? I suggest the continuous tense here, but I am uncertain.

Thanks,

John
Hi,

Which is better: "My parents decided to rent a house on Martha's vineyard and we (all look forward) were all looking forward to three weeks of fun in the sun."

The past cont. suggests your next sentence will be something like 'However, we were unable to go because we got sick'.

"My parents decided to rent a house on Martha's vineyard and we (all look forward) all looked forward to three weeks of fun in the sun."

If you just want to give me two facts, say it as above. Either simple tense is OK in clause two, depending on whether you are talking about the past or present.

Best wishes, Clive

Hi,

In 2002, Alex .................... (live) in New York.

Any difference between "lived" and "was living"?
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Magic79Hi,

In 2002, Alex .. (live) in New York.

Any difference between "lived" and "was living"?

Lived = Alex does not live in New York anymore. For example: "In 2002, Alex lived in New York, but in 2003, he moved to Washington."

Was living = If this form is used, something else, which lasted for a lesser time, happened. For example: "In 2002, while Alex was living in New York, he published his first book"
Hmm, then the book's answer key is not quite accurate. The book's answer is "was living." The exercise tests the students on the simple past vs. past continuous.

Interactions Focus on Grammar (American grammar book).
I agree with the answer given above.

Either is correct, depending on what you want to emphasize.

The "was living" is particularly used to say that something else happened at that time. He was living in New York when he got his first big break in his acting career, when he found out he was the long-lost grandson of a European millionaire, whatever.

However, there's nothing wrong with "lived."
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lived = Something that happened once (as a whole) and has finished. It suggests that you know when the event took place. The simple past tense.
- He lived in England

was living = Something that happened continuously or repeatedly in the past, and has now finished. It suggests that you don't know or care when the event took place, you'd rather just state a fact. The Past Continuous (Imperfect) tense, which is a compound tense in English.

- He was living in England
- He used to live in England